Garmin has just announced the release of the Forerunner 745, its latest and greatest high-performance fitness smartwatch, as well as a new heart rate monitor, the HRM Pro.
The Forerunner 745 is the latest addition to Garmin’s range of advanced GPS smartwatches. Said to be built with runners and triathletes in mind, the detailed training data, ability to track workouts on your device and all the usual smartwatch features, such as notifications and music control, makes it suitable for keen fitness fans of every level.
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The in-built “activity profiles” allow you to accurately track specific types of workout, from short runs to swims in the pool. There are dozens of different activity profiles to choose from, ensuring you can map your workouts accurately regardless of discipline.
You can seamlessly switch profiles at the touch of a button, so if you stop your run to do some squats (or switch disciplines during a triathlon race) you can still map your workouts accurately.
Firstbeat Analytics, Garmin’s in-house fitness analysis firm, allows you to monitor your fitness levels during a workout, with the Forerunner 745 measuring your pulse, VO2 Max (otherwise known as your max oxygen capacity, a great indicator of cardio fitness) and much more. If you’re a cyclist, it will count your left/right balance and time seated versus time standing, while swimmers can track their stroke and cadence.
The Forerunner will take all these metrics and provide intelligent workout suggestions for you, based on your past performance. If you’re not sure what to do for your next workout, the 745 will be full of smart advice for you. GPS functionality points out where you are with accuracy, so there’s no need to cart your phone around in an armstrap, either.
Does all this sound intimidating, especially for a new runner? Not to worry. New Garmin users get access to Garmin Coach, free training plans to guide you through training for a 5K, 10K or half-marathon with the help of a trio of Garmin running coaches. These plans all sync with the Forerunner watch, so you can track your progress on your wrist.
The Forerunner 745 is said to contain around a week’s worth of battery life in smartwatch mode, up to 16 hours in GPS mode and up to 6 hours in GPS mode with music playing (it holds 500 songs).
It’s available now in black, neo tropic, magma red or whitestone from £449.99.
The HRM Pro, meanwhile, offers one of Garmin's smartest heart rate monitors yet. Not only do you consistently receive accurate heart rate on your Garmin device, phone or gym machine via Bluetooth tech, it'll also offer workout guidance.
You can accurately see key running metrics such as ground contact time and stride length, helping you tweak these small issues for big results. All the information is stored and sent to your watch once your activity is all done, ensuring you get a complete picture of your fitness.
The HRM Pro is available now, priced at £119.99.
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Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and is currently Fitness and Wellbeing Editor at TechRadar, covering all things exercise and nutrition on Fit&Well's tech-focused sister site. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.
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